7 Days Itinerary for Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay under S$580

With the picturesque rice terraces of Sapa and world UNESCO site Halong Bay located only hours away, Hanoi is perhaps one of the most underrated cities I have ever been to. The capital of Vietnam is also any budget traveler’s dream as everything is real cheap with meals going for around S$1-S$2 and budget hostels starting at $5! 

Where should you stay in Hanoi?

The best area to stay in Hanoi is perhaps the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Tourist favourites like Hoan Kiem Lake and Giang Cafe (famous for its egg coffee) are located there. With hostels costing around $5 a night and hotels from $15 onwards, it is not hard to get accommodation in Old Quarter that doesn’t break the bank.

If you are a budget traveller that loves the idea of staying in hostels, you might consider the one I stayed at – Hanoi Back packer Hostel, The Original. It is located right beside Hoan Kiem Lake and there are lots of restaurants in the vicinity!

Getting around Hanoi

Home to beautiful French-inspired architectures, lakes and pagodas, it is really convenient to get around in this compact city. Almost every attraction is within walking distance from the others. If you do decide to stay in Old Quarter, you can easily get around attractions on foot. If you have access to cellular data, consider using Uber/Grab to travel to further attractions like Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum or the West Lake of Hanoi. A short 10minutes ride around Hanoi should cost only around $2-$4.

Should you book a tour for Sapa and Halong Bay?

I’ve always been an advocate of travelling free and easy as I usually plan my own travels. So when it came to visiting Sapa and Halong Bay, I found that planning my own trip there was a little more troublesome as these places were away from the city and had factors such as transport, guides, and accomodation. Comparing this to the short 2D1N tours offered by Klook, I found that these tailored tours were convenient, fuss-free and includes all that I was looking for. Planning my own experience there would not have saved me much time and money either way and having a tour guide to share their knowledge of Sapa and Halong Bay definitely made it more enjoyable!

Here are the tours I booked for my Sapa and Halong Bay Trip –

2D1N Sapa trekking tour from Hanoi

2D1N Halong Bay Cruise from Hanoi

Day 1 – Hanoi: Exploring Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake


  • Arrived at Noi Bai International Airport
  • Check in accommodation


  • Lunch at Bun Cha Dac Kim
  • Visit Saint Joseph Cathedral
  • Stroll around Hoam Kiem Lake
  • Have Kem Trang Tien Ice Cream along the way


  • Have a break at Toco Toco


  • Shop at Hanoi Weekend Night Market
  • Dinner at Bun Bo Nam Bo
  • Stay at Hanoi accommodation

For a more detailed Itinerary of Hanoi Day 1,

Read more: Hanoi Itinerary: Day 1| Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 2 – Sapa: Trekking with Tour


  • Check out of Hanoi accommodation
  • Sapa Tour Pick up at accommodation


  • Reached Sapa
  • Have lunch in Sapa
  • Start of Sapa Trek


  • Visit Lao Chai Village
  • Visit Vatan Village


  • Visit Giang Ta Chai Village
  • Have dinner at Homestay in Giang Ta Chai Village
  • Stay at Homestay in Giang Ta Chai Village

For a more detailed Itinerary of Sapa Day 1,

Read more: Sapa Itinerary: Day 1| Sapa Trekking Tour

Day 3 – Sapa: Visiting Cat Cat Village


  • Breakfast at Homestay in Giang Ta Chai Village
  • Visit Cat Cat Village


  • Return to Sapa from Cat Cat Village
  • Have lunch in Sapa
  • Take sleeper bus from Sapa back to Hanoi


  • Reached dinner rest stop, have dinner.


  • Back to Hanoi
  • Check in Accommodation in Hanoi
  • Stay at Hanoi accommodation

For a more detailed Itinerary of Sapa Day 2,

Read more: Sapa Itinerary: Day 2| Visiting Cat Cat Village

Day 4 – Halong Bay: Cruise and Ti Top Island


  • Tour pick up at Hanoi accommodation
  • 4 hours bus ride from Hanoi to Halong Bay


  • Check in cruise
  • Have lunch on cruise
  • Kayaking in Halong Bay


  • Visit Ti Top Island
  • Wait for sunset at Ti Top Island


  • Have dinner on cruise
  • Squid fishing/Star gazing on cruise
  • Spend the night on the cruise

For a more detailed Itinerary of Halong Bay Day 1,

Read more: Halong Bay Itinerary: Day 1| Cruise and Ti Top Island

Day 5 – Halong Bay: Exploring Sung Sot Cave


  • Breakfast on cruise
  • Visit Sung Sot Cave
  • Back to cruise


  • Vietnamese spring roll making lesson on cruise
  • Have lunch on cruise
  • Head back to port from Halong Bay
  • Bus ride back to Hanoi


  • Reached Hanoi
  • Check in Hanoi accommodation


  • Dinner in Hanoi
  • Stay at Hanoi accommodation

For a more detailed Itinerary of Halong Bay Day 2,

Read more: Halong Bay Itinerary: Day 2| Exploring Sung Sot Cave

Day 6 Hanoi – Shopping


  • Breakfast at Banh My Sot Vang
  • Shopping at Hoi Vu Street
  • Brunch at Myanmar Eel Noodle


  • Lunch at Pho Gia Truyen
  • Shopping at Hang Da Market
  • Shopping at Dong Xuan Market


  • Shopping at Hang Luoc/Hang Ma Street Market


  • Dinner at Pizza 4P
  • Drink at Bia Corner
  • Back to Hanoi accommodation
  • Stay at Hanoi accommodation

For a more detailed Itinerary of Hanoi Day 2,

Read more: Hanoi Itinerary: Day 2| Shopping in Hanoi

Day 7 Hanoi – Visiting West Lake and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 



  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Visit One Pillar Pagoda
  • Visit Doan Mon Gate


  • Stroll along Tay Ho District, which also house Hanoi’s biggest lake – West Lake
  • Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda


  • Have a drink at summit lounge rooftop bar
  • Dinner at Quan An Ngon
  • Back to hostel/hotel to get baggage
  • Flight back to Singapore from Hanoi

For a more detailed Itinerary of Hanoi Day 3,

Read more: Hanoi Itinerary: Day 3| West Lake & HCM Mausoleum

Budget Breakdown

Return flight from Singapore: S$160

Accommodations: S$40

Food: S$70

Transport(Inclusive of Airport Transfer): S$40

Tour: S$270

Total: S$580

About the Author:

Shameless self-proclaimed beer connoisseur. My body says yes but my wallet says no to my globetrotting adventures.


  1. isabellasmith January 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    When you are in Vietnam don’t forget to visit Halong Bay. Because its the stunning natural wonder in Vietnam. Traveling to Halong with “Hanoi Travel Bus” was the best experience for me.

    • Terry
      Terry January 29, 2018 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Yes, we do agree that Halong Bay is one of the must-visit if you are in Vietnam! 🙂

  2. clef c May 25, 2018 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Hello, may i know which month did you visit hanoi? Photos looks stunning! 🙂

    • Terry
      Terry May 25, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Hello Clef,

      I visited Hanoi in early October 2017.
      Hope that helps, happy travelling! 🙂

  3. Jai May 27, 2018 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I live in the US but am Singaporean. Coming in June! Going to Hanoi for first time June 22-29 with my darling bride of 35yrs! Booked Scoot round trip. Love your iternary but Cat Ba I was told is a must for beach! Fine tune a bit and forget about shopping day? Meet me for chili crab in Singapore to talk? Or your favorite beer joint? Please?
    I am Indian my wife Chinese we are in late 5Os love meeting new people

    • Terry
      Terry May 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Hello Jai,

      Hope you enjoy Hanoi as much as I did, I’ll definitely be back to visit Cat Ba in the near future! Sadly, I’ll not be in Singapore in June as I’m headed for a 2 months trip in New Zealand.

      Happy travelling. 🙂

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